Faculty of arts and sciences

Two FAS faculty named Blavatnik finalists

The Blavatnik awards for young scientists are among the most prestigious honors bestowed on early-career scientists, recognizing the past accomplishments and future promise of the most talented scientists and engineers aged 42 years and younger at America’s top academic and research institutions. Maureen Long, professor of earth and planetary sciences, was named a national finalist in recognition of her work, which has changed how we understand seismic activity and the movement of the earth’s mantle. Shruti Puri, assistant professor of applied physics, was named a regional finalist for her discovery of a completely new way of storing information in microwave photons, which has the potential to transform quantum computing. 

FAS faculty making sense of the news

When world-changing events happen, the media turn to FAS faculty for expertise. This has been especially true as the US grapples with both the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging presidential transition. 

Historians Joanne Freeman, Beverly Gage, Elizabeth Hinton, David Blight, Samuel Moyn, and Timothy Snyder have become go-to experts on the historical context behind recent political events, while philosopher Jason Stanley helps us understand how to protect democracy. In the New York Times, psychologist Jennifer Richeson reflected on the psychological roots of racism, while political scientist Bryan Garsten outlined the importance of the constitution. 

Physician and sociologist Nicholas Christakis spoke to numerous publications about COVID-19’s long-term social impacts, while economist Robert Shiller told CNBC viewers about the pandemic’s economic impacts. FAS dean Tamar Gendler ’87 joined author and journalist Fareed Zakaria ’86 for a discussion of the lessons we might learn in a post-pandemic world. 

And finally, psychologist Laurie Santos’s Happiness Lab podcast, featured in outlets ranging from CNN to Vogue, is there to show us how to keep up our spirits even in the face of uncertainty. 

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